The Hebrew Old Testament Texts and Versions

Texts and versions provide the raw materials for the discipline known as textual criticism. The ultimate aim is to provide a text in the form intended by its author. Generally speaking, the greater the age of a document, the greater is its authority.

Isaiah Scroll (1QIsaa) AKA the Great Isaiah Scroll

Please Support the Bible Translation Work of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV)$5.00Click here to purchase. The Isaiah Scroll, designated 1QIsaa and also known as the Great Isaiah Scroll, is one of the seven Dead Sea Scrolls[1] that were first discovered by Bedouin[2] shepherds in 1946 from Qumran[3] Cave 1.[4] The scroll is written in Hebrew and contains the entire Book of Isaiah from beginning to end, apart... Continue Reading →

The Crown of All Hebrew Manuscripts: The Aleppo Codex

BEFORE the discovery of the cache of Hebrew scrolls in the Dead Sea caves in 1947, aside from a few fragments, our Hebrew Old Testament manuscripts were from the late 9th to the 11th century C.E. That is but a mere thousand years ago when the original thirty-nine Hebrew Old Testament Bible books date from 2,500 to 3,500 years ago. Does this mean that prior to 1947, textual scholars and translators were uncertain about the Hebrew Bible that lies behind our English Old Testament? No, there was the most important Hebrew manuscript, which is called the Keter, the “Crown,” that originally contained all the Hebrew Scriptures, or the “Old Testament.”

THE NASH PAPYRUS: The Hebrew Manuscript

How do paleographers place an accurate date on very old ancient Hebrew Old Testament Bible manuscripts? In 1948, this was the problem that was before Dr. John C. Trever (1916 - 2006) was a Biblical scholar and archaeologist, who was involved in the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. When Dr. Trever first laid eyes on the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah, he pondered just this question.

The Qumran Residents: Were they Essenes?

We have determined that, the Dead Sea Scrolls were the library of the Qumran community, who were its people? Early on, in 1947 Professor Eleazar Sukenik obtained three scrolls from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; thereafter, suggesting that these scrolls had belonged to the Essene Community.

HEBREW OLD TESTAMENT: Who Were the Masoretes and Why Are They So Important?

Who were the Masoretes, and what valuable comments have they made on the Hebrew text? What do we know about the Masoretes? What did their work involve? What did the Masoretes do regarding the Hebrew text? What is the Masoretic text, and how do we know that it is reliable? How dependable, how accurate is this Masoretic text? Can we find a “pure” Masoretic text? Why did the Masoretes take such extreme care not to alter the text when previous copyists had altered it? Was their form of Jewish belief different from that of their predecessors?

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